Ambassadors Recognized for Service

Ambassadors Recognized for Service

Ambassadors Recognized for Service

Wherever there’s a need, KC Parks Ambassadors are always ready to serve. Kansas City is a better place because of their leadership and service, and their generosity is to be commended.

KC Parks Ambassadors are a team of dedicated community members who volunteer once a month or more with the Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. Since 2020, their generous service has made an incredible impact in Kansas City, benefitting residents and visitors, our parks and boulevards, the environment, and even KC Parks employees.

In 2023, KC Parks Ambassadors played a vital role in helping the department complete 319 projects that engaged 3,297 volunteers. In total, volunteers contributed 7,209 hours of service valued at $229,246. The KC Parks Ambassadors were also recipients of the 2023 Missouri Park and Recreation Association Citation Award.

Ambassadors have been of extraordinary assistance to the department on large-scale projects requiring immediate attention, and when extra staffing isn’t available. Examples include an after-hours cleanup following a fish kill on Brush Creek, fireworks debris cleanup in numerous parks following Independence Day, and painting over fresh graffiti in parks.

Because of their leadership, we’re able to host dozens of beatification projects during Earth Day Weekend and the Great Kansas City Cleanup Weekend, and provide assistance at some of the department’s largest events including Make Music Day and Kansas City’s Lawn Party.

KC Parks Ambassadors have also become a pipeline for recruiting outstanding KC Parks employees. A total of four new employees have joined the department because of the program.

Most importantly, their leadership has created a ripple effect that inspires KCMO residents and the broader community to also be stewards of our shared spaces. The Ambassadors Program is now being replicated citywide, through all city departments.

Environmental Accomplishments In 2023, KC Parks Ambassadors diverted several tons of loose litter away from waterways while beautifying our shared spaces, removed 10 acres of invasive bush honeysuckle from our parks, recycled nearly two tons of littered glass that otherwise would have ended up in the landfill, and collected seeds and planted native flowers beneficial for pollinators and the environment

They also took the lead in establishing the first-ever volunteer composting team to help reduce the carbon footprint for the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, making it the most eco-friendly event in the festival’s 44-year history. For three days during the hottest weekend of the year, Ambassadors collected 2.5 tons of food waste for compost – waste that otherwise would have been dumped in the landfill. Composting is now the new standard for the festival. Read More>>

KC Parks Ambassadors also worked with the Central District Natural Resources team to complete Phase 1 of a multi-year effort to meticulously remove six acres of invasive honeysuckle on steep terrain in Gillham Park. Phase 2 of this massive project continues in 2024, with the goal of reforesting the site with beneficial native plants by 2025. Completing a long-term project of this scale would not be possible without volunteer assistance. Download Case Study>>

Individual Accomplishments – These Ambassadors are commended for their leadership:

2023 Outstanding Service (50+ hrs)
Ms. Elise Jackson, 312 hrs
Nancy Simons, 182 hrs
Christopher Lowrance, 131 hrs
Aaron DeWitt, 100 hrs
Julia Daily, 95 hrs
Robin Wall, 89 hrs
Alice White, 80 hrs
Angela Bass, 68 hrs
Mark Frazier, 58 hrs
Peg Ekerdt, 56 hrs
Ron Robertson, 53 hrs
Vicki Johnson, 52 hrs
Dayna Barlow, 51 hrs

2023 Top Glass Recyclers
Christopher Lowrance, 1,015 lbs
Julia Daily, 415 lbs
Jenny Fenton, 373 lbs
Joe Zivny, 265 lbs
Robin Wall, 162 lbs

Outstanding First Year Ambassadors
Ron Robertson
Kade Castleberry
Mary Jo Mason
Eric Davis
Nasya Cartwright

500+ Hours (lifetime)
Ms. Elise Jackson, Aaron DeWitt

Site Leader Recognition
These leaders have helped scale our volunteer efforts by hosting weekly cleanups or regular workdays in hotspot areas:

  • Troost Lake Park Litter Cleanups, Saturdays since 2020 – Angela Bass, Aaron DeWitt, Johnnie Lee, Kent Stones, Joe Zivny
  • Paseo Boulevard Litter Cleanups, Mondays since 2020 – Aaron DeWitt, Peg Ekerdt, Jan Fakoury, Barbara French, Vicki Johnson, Alice White
  • Camp Lake of the Woods Litter Cleanups, Sundays since 2020 – Julia Daily
  • Indian Mound Overlook Litter Cleanups, Sundays since 2021– Christopher Lowrance
  • Briarcliff Trail Honeysuckle Removal since 2021 – Tracy Flowers
  • Cliff Drive Gate 2 Honeysuckle Removal since 2022 – Wil Oden
  • Dave Mecklenberg Trailhead Honeysuckle Removal since 2023 – Ron Robertson

More about the KC Parks Ambassadors Program>>

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